Sometimes a single tweet change the course of history. So can occur after the tweet of the General Manager of club of NBA “Houston rockets” Darryl Mori. He supported the protesters in Hong Kong, due to which it offended the whole of China.
How it all began
General Manager of the “Houston rockets” Daryl Mori during his stay in Japan together with the team posted a tweet. In it he supported the protesters in Hong Kong.
What the protests in Hong Kong?
They last for four months. People oppose Beijing’s attempts to reduce the rights and freedoms of citizens. The current protests are the most massive on the island since the transfer of the former British colony to China in 1997.
Soon, however, this message had to be removed. Mori even apologized.
But it was too late. It drew attention in China.
What is China and the “Houston Rockest”?
China is one of the largest markets where the NBA is exporting its services. Almost 500 million Chinese watching the NBA For example, Chinese media company Tencent has paid $ 1.5 billion for the broadcast of NBA for five seasons.
And “Houston rockets” – one of the most popular teams there. All because of Yao Mina, who played for the team in the years 2002-2010. The rockets even play it sometimes with Chinese characters on the form on the occasion of the Chinese new year. The team also has a lot of sponsors from China. And often goes in the pre-season matches in China. Of course, that’s not free.
What it led to?
In China, offended. Very much. Tencent now refuses to show matches Houston. And the main Chinese channel CCTV-5 also refuses to mention the team in the news. While they stopped showing preseason NBA.
And cancelled matches farm teams “Houston”, which was to be held in China.
In addition, Houston has already lost several major Chinese sponsors. Among them, the Bank and the firm that produces sports clothes. Nike was removed from all Chinese stores form the rockets with the sale.
How’s the NBA?
The NBA Commissioner Adam silver said that “Mori has the right to freely Express their thoughts”.
However, this statement does not agree in China. The channel CCTV-5 made an official statement after that.
“We strongly oppose the application of the silver on the support Mori right to freedom of speech. Believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability, has nothing to do with freedom of speech,” reads the statement of the channel.
What do they say at the club?
The owner of the “Houston rockets” Tilman Fertitta said that the words of Maury are not the official position of the Club and the team itself is not a political organization.
What’s likely to happen?
It is hard to say. This is a blow for the NBA. The League can lose a considerable market. And this, accordingly, money. So all will depend on what agreement the parties.
It is unlikely Houston will regain the level of support in China, which had before. Most likely he will become the most hated club in China. Therefore, the number of Chinese sponsors in the club can get to zero.